MOOCompetition and a Future of Education

Udacity.com [From swashbuckling Americans with a niche: programming and then some]
Coursera.org [From swashbuckling Americans again: the gamut]
Edx.org [Ivy leagueX and friends]
Futurelearn.com [The British have come, with Coursera part B]
Iversity.com [From German/Europe’s quest: expanding horizons]
Edcast.com [Another American vision: knowledge networks, expanding horizons]

And there are others.

The MOOCompetition hots up because there’s business and pride inside it.

In their own zones are:
Prageruniversity.com [Honourary mention: they simply make sense]
Saylor.org [Special mention: Visionaries]
Uopeople.edu [Special mention: should work with Saylor; same direction I think]

Side thoughts:
A teacher should have income such that he can teach for free.

The degree or diploma (nanodegree?) is the natural evolution. Further on, there may come a point in the future when a degree, as we know it now, would become irrelevant.

The various platforms could inter- or co-accredit their courses like saylor.org essentially does. They could then grow to award ‘full’ degrees if a user can show they’ve completed certain courses from any of them within a specified period. Forming a cartel would raise the bar for new entrants and/or encourage some would-be competitors to join them instead.

Why attend one university when you can cherry-pick courses from an assortment of providers and still get a degree. I think European universities have done very well here.

Society does not seem to value liberal arts education enough in the early years. Restore the Trivium and Quadrivium to our consciousness.

Why do we want to see and feel the presence of teachers and co-students; to relate with them in their physical presence. Beyond accreditation, expert assessment, and recognition, there’s more to brick-and-mortar universities; just like there’s more to reading a real book than an e-book. Something allied with our humanness.

While we engage with the content of a book, we engage with the book itself. However, an e-book has only content; there’s no unique substance that we can attach it to. The nearest substance is the devise we use to read it, but that has no link to the content of the ebook, so that there’s an anchor for memory, emotion, and relationship missing. And not just counting that, with real books, we read reflections of light and not the projections of it as is common with most devices. Eassier on the eyes I think; it hurts to look directly at the sun.

What would we be losing by killing ‘brick and mortar’ universities. Do they need to up the ante to retain those courses with distance learning competition, and/or focus on those that could more easily survive distance learning, or join the evolution…. Ride alongside it; the competition, and the emergence.

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2 thoughts on “MOOCompetition and a Future of Education

  1. I feel we may also lose the character formation that should naturally be a part of university life. Also, we would not want to see a seminar presentation judged by peer review by the students, I think.

    NovoEd is also a nice platform, suited to the professional.

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    • Thanks Ideadibia for the novoed.com contribution. True about universities being a great avenue for character formation. And true that we can’t do without expert review where it matters.

      On the peer review theme, I have memories of a teacher randomly distributing the test answer papers to the class that just took the test. Teacher led peer marking. But it was with questions that had answers that were generally easy to judge right/wrong once the teacher gave the right answers.

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